Southwest Indiana organizations on the ground for North Weinbach Avenue explosion recovery
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Thursday now marks over three weeks since the deadly North Weinbach Avenue explosion. Many organizations were on-site to meet the needs of those injured and displaced.
In the aftermath of the explosion, the Emergency Management Agency contacted the Southwest Indiana Community Organizations Active in Disaster to activate their services. Theo Boots is a Southwest Indiana board member.
Boots says this was the first disaster the organization has responded to since re-establishing its services in 2019.
“The purpose of COAD is to be there already organized and to already know what agency is going to help in what areas needed,” said Boots.
Southwest Indiana COAD is an assembly of organizations like the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, Goodwill, and the Deaconess Health System. Boots says the organization was committed to providing victims with necessities.
“We did not have any unmet needs that someone from around that table couldn’t assist with,” said Boots.
Kelly Schneider, the vice president of Southwest Indiana COAD and CEO of Easterseals Rehabilitation Center says the organization responds to disasters only after they are activated by the EMA. Schneider says once they are contacted by the EMA, COAD works to manage volunteers and resources.
She also says COAD is able to serve those affected by disasters in both short-term and long-term ways.
“For my role at Easterseales, if someone needed help with disability services or equipment – disability equipment, a wheelchair that was damaged in a disaster – we would be able to step in and try to help out with that but even things like animal control,” said Schneider. “It really is a broad range of people that can help in various different ways.”
Southwest Indiana COAD serves Vanderburgh, Warrick Gibson, Posey, and Spencer Counties and the assembly meets quarterly. Members say they are open to accepting organizations and individuals interested in being a part of the team.
Are you an organization or individual interested in joining Southwest Indiana COAD?
If this is the case, contact Theo Boots at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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